Moved by the plight of poor patients with unpaid hospital bills, the Catanduanes Doctors Hospital, Inc. (CDHI) last week launched its Indigency Fund Program to assist its indigent patients.
In a brief ceremony at the CDHI lobby last Aug. 13, 2021, President and CEO Dr. Luis Ramon Rodriguez cited the case of a pregnant woman who was rushed to the hospital after giving birth in the comfort room.
“Her family had no money to pay the P7,000 bill,” he said, adding that the hospital would have to absorb the loss as a humanitarian gesture.
Conceding that the hospital’s operation won’t last for long if this situation keeps up, Dr. Rodriguez decided to reach out to their friends and suppliers as well as local organizations and businesses, to set up the fund to assist financially patients who cannot pay their bills.
“The fund will be properly managed, with regular reports to be rendered monthly,” he assured, saying that doctors at CHDI do not charge professional fees on indigent patients.
By trying to raise a few thousand pesos today, CDHI management will try to work out an in-house program similar to that of a Health Management Organization (HMO).
Rodriguez also said that proceeds from the CDHI’s Catanduanes Wellness Card, which is being sold for P500, good for a year, will also go to the Indigency Fund Program.
The card carries with it one free medical check-up at CDHI, a 10% exclusive discount in all laboratory and radiologic procedures, and generic and selected pharmaceutical products. If the holder is an in-patient, he or she is also given a 5% discount on top of the hospital bill and another 5% discount on the doctor’s professional fee.
The holder of the card is entitled to 5% discount on local accredited partner doctors specializing in anesthesiology, dentistry, internal medicine, OB and gynecology, pediatrics and surgery.
It can also be used to get discounts at a fitness gym and a cakes and pastries shop, up to P5,000 financial assistance from TGP Partylist for indigent patients, and up to P10,000 in group accidental death and disability benefits from PhilCare insurance company.
The card is now available at the CDHI Administrative Office c/o Joash dela Cruz at 09082195198 or (052) 740-5441.
For his part, Virac Mayor Sinforoso Sarmiento Jr. expressed the support of the local government for the CDHI initiative, acknowledging that most of his constituents have no means to pay hospital bills and seek help from the LGU, but its funds are not enough.
Meanwhile, Medical Director Dr. Lubelia Sanchez disclosed that CDHI has set aside a dedicated COVID ward separate from the “clean” cases, with the coronavirus-stricken patients entering the facility through a separate entrance.
Also present during the program were Administrative Service Director Herminia Apil, Social Worker Rosemarie Breta and Chief Marketing Officer Joash dela Cruz.